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Build and Economy for the Future

Recently, the workers of ConAgra and the Carriage House held a rally in Dunkirk. There are over 400 employees in Fredonia that don’t know what they will do when the ConAgra plant shuts down later this year. The workers and local government had no warning the plant would close its doors, and now workers and public servants are scrambling to come up with a plan to replace the jobs and tax revenue. Will the Dunkirk NRG plant be soon to follow?

In Tonawanda, there is now a warning that NRG Huntley is in the red. The long-term trends have shown that coal-burning power plant will continue to struggle being financial profitable. President Obama has made the climate change fight a huge initiative. While the EPA is looking for a 30 % cut in carbon emissions by 2030 from coal-burning power plants.

According to a recent report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the plant is losing about $3 million annually. Coal-burning power plants are being moth-balled across the county with no plan for taking care of workers, tax revenue and the redevelopment of the property.

We’ve already lost Dal-Tile, Mittal Steel, American Axle, Buffalo China and unfortunately many more. We have a responsibility as a community—we can either continue to ignore the inevitable or begin planning now for a new economic future. Members from the labor movement, community based non-profits and government departments can start this process and should be applauded. Together we can build a stronger region that builds wealth for working people and invests in our next generation.

> Andrew Glauser, Lancaster

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